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Free at Noon Flashback: Langhorne Slim and the Law got everyone’s hips shaking

Langhorne Slim | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com
Langhorne Slim | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com

Langhorne Slim, a Philly native, returned to his hometown for our Free at Noon doubleheader today. His performance was received quite warmly, and the crowd was dancing like they just didn’t care.

Slim’s music spread like wildfire after years of touring with bands like Cake, The Avett Brothers, The Violent Femmes, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. He’s been to huge festivals like Bonnaroo, but his music is just as magical and intimate when played in a smaller setting like the World Cafe. The performance was even more special because his mom and grandmother were in the audience. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Jesse Malin powered up the crowd with punk rock

Jesse Malin | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com
Jesse Malin | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com

NYC punk rocker Jesse Malin brought his enthusiastic act to the stage today for Free at Noon.

Malin got his start in the NYC punk scene early, at age 12. After spending time fronting the hardcore band Heart Attack and the glam punk band D Generation, among other projects, Malin decided to go solo. He spent time reshaping his sound to emulate the greats, such as Neil Young, Tom Waits, and Steve Earle. Eight albums later,  he arrived at World Cafe Live today, touring in support of his newest effort, New York Before the War. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: An energized Joss Stone previews Water For Your Soul at World Cafe Live

Joss Stone | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com
Joss Stone | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com

With her seventh LP Water for Your Soul set to release on July 31st, UK singer and songwriter Joss Stone made a visit to Philly today to preview the new album for a sold-out Free at Noon crowd at World Cafe Live.

From the immense energy of opener “Super Duper Love” from 2004′s Mind Body and Soul, Stone had this devoted audience in the palm of her hand, and gave them a taste of the new record in four songs: the groove-tastic “Love Me,” the sentimental “Molly Town,” the alluring “Stuck on You” and the powerful “Let Me Breathe.”  Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth jam for the sold-out crowd

Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

The cheers and applause were deafening in World Cafe Downstairs today as Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth took the stage. Haynes (The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, The Dead) teamed up with bluegrass outfit Railroad Earth to record his new solo record, Ashes and Dust. They played songs from that record for a sold-out Free at Noon crowd.

Even during his time in his main bands, Haynes wrote folksy Americana songs that he kept to himself for the last 30 years. Now, on Ashes and Dust, he believes this is the right time to release them into the world. Together, he and Railroad Earth recorded over 30 songs, but managed to whittle it down to just 13 for the release. Continue reading →

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David Gray played an emotional, intimate set for Free at Noon

David Gray Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.squarespace.com
David Gray Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.squarespace.com

English singer-songwriter David Gray returned to Free at Noon today in support of his tenth studio album Mutineers.  For twenty plus years, Gray has been making touching and heartfelt music including the phenomenal success of his fourth album, 2000′s White Ladder, which spawned the singles “Sail Away”, and “Babylon.” Known for the personal aspect of his songwriting and use of small-scale recording methods, Gray easily carved a name for himself during the turn-of-the-century indie rock movement. Continue reading →

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June Rich makes a heartfelt return to Free at Noon

June Rich live at WXPN's Free at Noon | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
June Rich live at WXPN’s Free at Noon | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

If you were heavy into the Philly music scene in the late 90′s, chances are you knew about June Rich. They emerged from Manayunk’s Grape Street Pub in 1995 and took Philadelphia by storm in just a few months.

They performed on National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage, they played the opening night of the Electric Factory, and they were the only local band that performed on the main stage at the 1996 Philadelphia Folk Festival. They were even voted Philadelphia magazine’s “Best Band in Philadelphia”. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: DMA’s fill World Cafe Live with energy

DMAs | Photo by Megan Lynch |meganlynchart.squarespace.com
DMAs | Photo by Megan Lynch |meganlynchart.squarespace.com

Sydney trio DMA’s may have released their debut well over a year ago, landing them on the Australian top ten albums chart on iTunes according to the Sydney Morning Herald, but they are just starting to catch on here in the states.

Free at Noon concert-goers were treated to a short set from the band as they tour in support of their self-titled EP. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Martin Sexton filled the room with charming sounds

Martin Sexton | Photo by Megan Lynch
Martin Sexton | Photo by Megan Lynch

Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton stopped by World Cafe Live today, on tour in support of his new Mixtape of the Open Road, out now on his own Kitchen Table Records. He headlines World Cafe Live at the Queen tonight, but for Free at Noon today, he gave the audience a taste of what’s in store at the show, playing a few songs from the new record, as well as old tracks spanning the length of his career since 1991. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: The Figgs kicked off an exciting Memorial Day weekend

The Figgs | Photo by Megan Lynch
The Figgs | Photo by Megan Lynch

Audience members for this week’s Free at Noon were treated to a special Memorial Day Weekend gift, as The Figgs rocked the downstairs stage at the World Cafe Live. The band was in Philly to promote their new album, Other Planes of Here, their latest release in a long string of releases dating back to 1992. It was a relaxed, yet still rock and roll atmosphere, as lead singer/guitarist Mike Gent ordered a vodka martini in the middle of the set. Songs on the band’s set list for today were “Late Nights and Early Flights,” “Paper Knives” and “Something’s Wrong.” After the radio show, members of the audience got to hear the band do a cover of The Who’s “Happy Jack,” a nice surprise before heading out for Memorial Day Weekend. If you were there or listened on the radio, make sure to check out the band’s performance tonight at Dawson St. Pub. Information for the concert can be found here. Listen back to the set and check out a gallery of photos below. Continue reading →

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Recap: Brian Wilson cruises through NonCOMM Free at Noon

Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Legendary American songwriter Brian Wilson graced the World Cafe Live stage for to kick off day three of the NonCOMM convention.

Wilson, age 72, moved swiftly and seamlessly through a rock n’ rolling setlist. He played songs from his latest album, No Pier Pressure, as well as Beach Boys fan favorites “I Get Around,” “Fun Fun Fun,” “Surfing USA,” ”In My Room,” “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows”.

Wilson was accompanied by a huge backing band playing a diverse array of instruments, including vibraphones, saxophone and harmonica, to perfectly emulate the signature Beach Boys sound. Continue reading →